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Guns! Guns! Guns!


I used to love getting the NRA sweepstakes mailing — Guns! Guns! Guns!, it blared cheerfully.

The machine gun from the previous post, because someone asked. Attitudes about guns aren’t so simple here. I know plenty of Brits who think guns are magical self-activating sticks of evil but — especially out here in the country — there are plenty of people who love and miss guns. Including many a sad bastard who had his prize collection confiscated.

I’d say the majority of children at these fetes and festivals are there with their grandparents (blue hair…blue hair as far as the eye can see). Sitting there minding this gun, I wasn’t surprised when grandpa propped a little boy in front of the gun for a picture, but I was very surprised how often grandma did it.

I know what you’re thinking: WWII generation. But no – all the living veterans are in their nineties now. The oldest of these remembered the war from their older brothers going off, or being evacuated to the country themselves. Most have vague memories of rationing. (Uncle B remembers rationing in London, which carried on well into the Fifties. Brits wuz poor after the war).

The laws are a bit strange, too. It’s a hard ban on almost everything, but I’m told they must allow you to buy a shotgun if you apply. The restrictions for keeping it at home are a world of ass-ache, so we haven’t done it.

There was a gun dealer at the airshow we went to last week with a neat selection of old handguns, most of which had been “decommissioned” (ruined, usually by slicing part way through the barrel). But he had one nice little antique revolver that he said was completely intact and I could have bought it on the spot and walked away with it, no restrictions.

“Because the ammunition it needs is no longer being manufactured.”
“Oh,” says I, “it doesn’t look unusual. What is it?”
“320,” says he.
“Wait, what? But that’s .32 – that’s totally still manufactured — ”
“In the US, not here.”

Well, I didn’t know any ammo was still manufactured here. I suppose if I were going to smuggle ammo I might as well smuggle guns to go with, so it isn’t much of a loophole. Still think it’s weird.

Also, somebody I know does cowboy re-enactment. It needs a license, but you can buy powder and ball handguns, including the early-style revolvers. He has a beautiful one of modern manufacture from Italy. I mean geez, I could totally knock over a gas station with one of those.

Oh, and ExpressoBold asked why they were playing the US national anthem. Dude, if you’re going to have a brass band, you WILL play American music (and German, for that matter). We dominate the repertoire. The National Anthem was just the first chunk of a medley, that went on to Oh, Susanna! and The Yellow Rose of Texas. We came in on the Star Spangled Banner and went out on Sussex by the Sea. Nice.


Comment from Ric Fan
Time: August 29, 2017, 7:08 pm

Been meaning to ask you: When you and Uncle B got wed,did you promise to be bonny and buxom in bed?

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: August 29, 2017, 7:23 pm

Ah, Browning .30 cal. (30.06).

That belt looks to be in far better shape than the one he pried your round out of.

Comment from catnip
Time: August 29, 2017, 7:27 pm

“The Yellow Rose of Texas.” How sweet and timely, given the devastation in Houston.

It’s a relief to see that you and Uncle B haven’t taken to your bed/s in the aftermath of the mysterious toxic cloud that sickened folks in your vicinity. Are chickens super-susceptible to effects of poisonous gases, acting as early warning systems as canaries did long ago in coal mines?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 29, 2017, 7:28 pm

Not in so many words, Ric Fan, but there is a bit in the CofE service about…the “pleasure of the body” or some such. Made me blush.

Yeah, Durnedyankee, the other belt is one they use to pry bits out of to give to kids. Like me. I don’t think he was supposed to get a chunk of the belt itself, though.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 29, 2017, 7:36 pm

A (very) minor correction. I may be ancient but I don’t actually remember rationing. I’m told it was still in place for a few years after I was born, though.

Who’da thunk it? Worms, rationed?!

As for the gas, my first thought when I heard about it was that it read like one of those mass hysteria panics they love in Fortean Times . If it had been Sarin no one would have lived to tell the Daily Mail, that’s for sure!

My second thought was that you do get some very strange smells at the coast. Rotting seaweed produces quite pungent odours (often mistakenly described as ‘ozone’) so I though that was a lot more likely than an attack.

Comment from vorkosigan
Time: August 29, 2017, 7:37 pm

Sorry, bot the .320 revolver cartridge is not the same as the .32 ACP manufactured in the US. It is a rimmed cartridge that has not been manufactured since the 1920s. The .32 short colt was the closest American made cartridge,(albeit with a different sized rim) Also, a pretty wimpy round –80 gr. bullet at around 550 feet per second

Comment from Timbo
Time: August 29, 2017, 8:42 pm

Cripes! Turns out I must be older than Uncle Badger. I remember going with my mum to collect the rations. The large white tins of National milk powder, the orange concentrate which ponged of rotten eggs due to the sulphide used to preserve it. In fact it was years before I could get used to the taste of fresh OJ; it just didn’t taste right.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 29, 2017, 9:17 pm

That orange concentrate was still being dished out for years, Timbo. I was the eldest cub and they were still stuffing it down the necks of infants until… well, I was going to say 1960 but maybe it was even longer? Don’t remember the milk powder though, Sounds vile!

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: August 29, 2017, 9:34 pm

Ah! A Browning M1919. Nice. Probably .303 as it is Over There. John M. did good work!

I’m partial to the Browning M2, a/k/a “Ma Deuce”, and one of my little goals is to find an opportunity to fire one, but only a little. Those .50 BMG cartridges of modern manufacture are about $3.50-$4.00 each and that particularly nice firearm shoots roughly 10 per second. It gets expensive!

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: August 29, 2017, 10:13 pm

Well, Ms. Weasel, I appreciate that Sousa had an extraordinary influence on the Brass Band March genre but, while the Germans kept playing Beethoven, New Zealand got into the mix with this Not-Sousa march. It’s a foot-tapper!

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: August 29, 2017, 11:09 pm

Your “orange stuff” couldnt have been worse than Tang. Yuck.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 29, 2017, 11:21 pm

I just had a Tang flashback 🙁

Video not available, ExpressoBold.

I bow to your superior knowledge, vorkosigan. The dealer said it would take a .32 round, though. So maybe close enough?

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: August 29, 2017, 11:40 pm

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 29, 2017, 11:21 pm

Video not available, ExpressoBold.

I wonder what could be the problem?
It is the Invercargill March (Lithgow), performed by the U.S. Marine Corps Band, if you happen across it in your search of interesting YT vids.
It couldn’t be one of those “regional exclusions” could it?

Comment from Weaseltablet3
Time: August 30, 2017, 12:49 am

It usually says so when it is. Will search.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: August 30, 2017, 10:51 am

Regional exclusion…
So they’ve established a “no play zone”!
This could be grounds for impeaching President Bush!
(Channeling madam Pelosi)

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: August 30, 2017, 3:28 pm

Stoaty, I wasn’t in yesterday (most of Noo Awlins closed down for fear of floods), and didn’t see your “fete” post: What is “splat the rat”?

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: August 30, 2017, 5:47 pm

What is “splat the rat”?.

Limey version of whack a mole?

Saw an article on Channel Four & that horrible person, Nadia Chan. Sheesh! It was suppose to be about young moderate female muslims. Guess what? They are no better than ISIS. Her comments on twitter are off the charts. She says she has a masters in law, what ever that means. But for all this dont talk mean crap, why arent the police arresting her?

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: August 30, 2017, 6:24 pm

Remembered I saw a brass jazz band years ago in New Orleans in a dive bar. They were moonlighting Marines with shaved heads wearing khakis. They were very good musicians and funny and flirting with all the ladies. The USMC has bands in several cities including NO. You have to be pretty talented to make the cut.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 30, 2017, 8:20 pm

Wolfus: popular at fetes, one person drops a bean bag into the top of a pipe, and the player has to hit it when it comes out the other end. Like all carnival games, it looks easy and isn’t.

I lied, though. This particular fete has a variation every year that’s called something like “give the Frenchman another bottle of wine.” Only, it’s something catchier than that. Anyway, you chuck plastic bottles full of water at a gross painted caricature of a Frenchy.

The old animosities, they are real.

Comment from OldFert
Time: August 31, 2017, 4:28 am

“Give the Frenchman another bottle of wine.” There’s a lot to be said for tradition.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: August 31, 2017, 5:58 pm

“The old animosities, they are real.”

I don’t think you’re allowed to keep animosities any more.
Unless you’re targeting a certain pale hued gender that comes from Northern Europe and is responsible for screwing up the entire world.

In which case animosey away, it’s not merely not forbidden, it’s positively de rigueur.

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